I think this was the Saturday before Christmas, and a little over everyone talking about Christmas shopping, and very over the thought of actually having to do some myself amongst the crowds of people (I hadn’t done any) I decided to put feelers out to see who else wanted to get out and escape. We ended up with a decent group of about 7, and although the weather wasn’t ideal, it was still a really nice day out, just a tad cold and wet!
We started out earlish, as one walker had dinner commitments to be back in time for, and this is one walk where the drive takes longer than the walk. You drive all the way out past Strathgordon until you can drive no more. You’re at the Serpentine Dam wall, which you walk across and begin climbing up steps right away. There’s a log book a short distance in, and then it’s straight up. Plenty of handholds to pull yourself up with, but most people would still factor in a few rest stops.
Eventually you pop out, and while still generally climbing, it’s not nearly so steep, and more open, with what promises to be some pretty awesome views (weather permitting!). You wind your way up, amongst low alpine scrub typical of the ranges out that way, the pad becoming slightly less defined as you approach the top, but easy enough nonetheless to follow. There’s an animal data collection station or two up there, from Parks I think.
You know when you’re on the summit, there’s both a concrete pillar and a trig point.. and glimpses of the way onwards to the Frankland range (probably my favourite walk so far!).
As we stood on top in whiteout, joking about where the view was, someone heard us and blew in a few windows for us to glimpse tantalising views of mountains and lake. We had a quick 20 minute lunch break, devouring fresh raspberries and fruit cake (one walker had more raspberries than she knew what to do with, and it was another’s birthday). Then headed back down to warm up again. It took us just under 2.5 hours up, and 2 back at a moderate pace with a few stops. Lovely walk, recommended for anyone who doesn’t mind the initial straight up.
All up: 6.8km, 4.45hrs, 853m ascent.